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CUPE member Martine Stonehouse received the 2012 City of Toronto Pride Award for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Two-spirited issues, at a ceremony in the city’s council chambers last week. The award is one of the city’s 2012 Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards that recognize activists for their ongoing work to pursue human rights.

Sister Stonehouse, a member of Local 4400, works at the Toronto District School Board, is vice-chair of the Trans Lobby Group and advocates for gender identity to be included in human rights legislation. In 2000, the TDSB became the first public school board in Canada to have gender identity protection.

An outspoken advocate for trans rights, she won a landmark, seven-year human rights case against the Ontario Ministry of Health after the Conservative government of Mike Harris de-listed sex-reassignment surgery. The surgery was re-listed in 2008.

Sister Stonehouse was first elected to CUPE Ontario’s Pink Triangle Committee in 2000, and now sits as the Trans representative on the CUPE National Pink Triangle Committee.

CUPE Ontario congratulates Sister Stonehouse. Her continued work and leadership has resulted in important steps forward for transgender rights.